All things Cult Cinema

Started by wilder, March 27, 2017, 06:00:36 PM

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Gone through the first five of the "Triple B" series, so uh, now I find myself hype for Sidaris announcements.
The menus and features .

As a package, these movies are "show"-ers AND growers.


movies i'm literally learning about right now while maybe needing to see at some point or other

A man afflicted with clairvoyance tries to change his fate when a series of events leads to a vision of his own imminent murder.

A lonely private investigator is contacted by a mysterious woman who pulls him into a mind game known as "telephone walking". Fascinated by her voice, Aloys discovers an imaginary universe that allows him to break out of his isolation.

Staying Vertical
Screenwriter Leo is searching for the wolf in the south of France. During a scouting excursion he is seduced by Marie, a free-spirited and dynamic shepherdess. Nine months later she gives birth to their child. Suffering from post-natal depression and with no faith in Leo, who comes and goes without warning, Marie abandons both of them. Leo finds himself alone, with a baby to care for.

The Ornithologist
Stranded along a sublime river fjord in northern Portugal, an ornithologist is subjected to a series of brutal and erotic Stations-of-the-Cross-style tests.

In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a crazy night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions. As she struggles to get a grip on reality, the stories of conspiracy spread.

The Similars
A science fiction thriller that takes place in 1968's Mexico and deals with identity in a metaphorical way, as the plot involves a mysterious condition that makes all persons locked inside a bus station on a rainy night to adopt the same face and features.

Alpha Male Smith and his Beta, Keith, move to take over a local community. They hook up with restless Female, Denise, igniting a deadly feud in which emotions run high and deep-seated grudges resurface amongst the tribe. Are we not men? Or are we simply beasts? Steve Oram, the actor/writer from SIGHTSEERS and KILL LIST stars in his long-awaited debut feature with a host of his friends. Get ready for the most unusual celluloid primal scream – an anarchic, hilarious, disturbing and touching look at the human condition. THEMROC meets PINK FLAMINGOS in the Cult Movie of the Year.

The Brand New Testament
God lives in Brussels. On earth though, God is a coward, with pathetical morals and being odious with his family. His daughter, Ea, is bored at home and can't stand being locked up in a small apartment in ordinary Brussels, until the day she decides to revolt against her dad...

The Bunker
A student moves in with a family that lives in an underground house in the middle of the forest, far from civilization. His hopes of peace and quiet are soon shattered, when it becomes apparent that both the parents and their son have a screw loose.


Of the three of those that I've seen, I highly recommend Antibirth; The Similars is unique and mesmerizing, but never fully came together for me; and The Bunker is really going to be a personal taste situation. Discomfort for its own sake. Not my style.
My house, my rules, my coffee



This movie isn't as good as the short its Kino Lorber 3D Blu Ray comes with - Experiments in Love -- with projection effects that recall Corman's and a bunch of eye-popping dildos. It's total cheese but goofier fun than the feature its blu ray'z for.

Quote from: EXPERIMENTS IN LOVEPenthouse Pet Mariwin Roberts and her ditzy sidekick Linda Gordon star as a pair of sexy scientists who explore the secrets of sexuality with a sci-fi third dimension experiment!


May 26, 2020

Solid Metal Nightmares: The Films of Shinya Tsukamoto (1987-2018) on limited edition blu-ray from Arrow

One of the most distinctive and celebrated names in modern Japanese cinema, there's no other filmmaker quite like Shinya Tsukamoto. Since his early days as a teenager making Super 8 shorts, he has remained steadfastly independent, garnering widespread acclaim while honing his own unique and instantly recognizable aesthetic on the margins of the industry. Frequently exploring themes of urban alienation, physical transformation and psychosexual obsession, his films cross genre boundaries, defying straightforward classification. This exclusive collection gathers together eight feature-length films and two shorts from Tsukamoto's diverse filmography, including his most recent offering – his samurai drama Killing, making its home video premiere.

-Tetsuo: The Iron Man
-Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
-The Adventure of Denchu-Kozo
-Tokyo Fist
-Bullet Ballet
-A Snake of June

2020 TBD

Shinya Tsukamoto's Gemini (1999) on blu-ray from Mondo Macabro

A successful doctor, Yukio's picture perfect life is gradually wrecked, and taken over by his avenging twin brother, who bumps off his family members one by one and reclaims his lover who is now Yukio's wife.

August 11, 2020

Mikey (1992) on blu-ray from MVD Visual

Although Mikey is just a little boy, he is capable of anything.... Every family Mikey lives with has a series of unexplained "accidents" and hence he's moved from home to home. After his original family die, accidently, Mikey is taken by authorities and placed into the care of adoptive parents. Of course they eventually come to learn that.


April 28, 2020

Nico Mastorakis' The Wind (1986) is coming to blu-ray from Arrow. This guy makes fun movies.

A novelist is stalked by a psychopath one stormy night.


I highly recommend one Vinegar Syndrome put out, In the Cold of the Night (1990). Really entertaining exploitation. Personal taste but you know

Scott is a fashion photographer concerned about the sudden appearance of nightmares in his nightly dreams. In these, he seems to be involved in the murder of a beautiful young woman. When he actually meets this dreamwoman in reality, he begins to suspect that something strange must be responsible. As he attempts to solve the enigma of his troubling dreams, he is falling deeply in love with the mysterious woman. In the end, he uncovers a diabolical and sinister plot....

Arrow has released several more. You can find listings for his filmography on blu-ray here.

Dread Central posted a write-up on his work four years ago


I was at a horror convention in the early 2000s when someone recommended Island of Death as a prime example of exploitation cinema. It wasn't the first time I'd heard about it, and it sounded right up my alley. I bought an import DVD off the table in question and couldn't wait to get home and watch it. When I got around to it, I wasn't remotely disappointed. It was sick without reveling in excess, done with a wink and a nudge. To this day, it's a go-to favorite when somebody tells me they want to venture into the deep end of sleazy cinema without taking off their water wings.

It was sometime around then that I looked up director Nico Mastorakis and was stunned to discover how many of his films I'd already seen! None were as twisted as Island of Death, not even close, so it was a little difficult to believe "glossier" things like The Wind and Nightmare at Noon came from the guy who brought wholesale righteous slaughter to the isle of Mykanos. Still, his films are consistently entertaining and deliver on whatever expectations come attached to the genre he's trafficking in.

Having said that, I'm a little surprised the Greek filmmaker isn't more of a "name." He's scarcely mentioned in any of my conversational circles, and we're a likeminded bunch! I'm not sure Mastorakis has a personal stamp or signature that you can point to beyond his work being highly entertaining. I think that's enough. There's a workmanlike consistency that makes him reliable. Anyone who's watched a lot of schlock in their lives recognizes the importance of competency, and Mastorakis gives you solid actors (sometimes doing heavy lifting over dicey scripts) and decent-to-good production value, which means he's got a leg up on the competition. I'm really happy to see Arrow Video in the Mastorakis business, offering up terrific editions of three of his most enjoyable works (Island of Death was covered last year).

The Zero Boys is an intersection of survival action and slasher horror. Southern Comfort meets Just Before Dawn. If that sounds like a thoroughly 80s cocktail, that's because it is. Here, a scrappy competitive paintball crew goes against mountain psychos using an isolated country house to make snuff films. The film was shot on the same property as Friday the 13th Part III, and so slasher fans will get to see Higgins' Haven through an entirely different lens (this land was used in three separate slashers, with Twisted Nightmare being the last).

The movie opens with an extended paintball sequence that plays out in an old western ghost town. Mastorakis tries for a little bit of misdirection, making us think this is a real conflict at first. The reveal is fun, and the opposing team (in Nazi regalia) is appropriately absurd. It introduces us to our band of carefree heroes (The Zero Boys is the name of their paintball team) who are planning a big weekend getaway with their ladies. When they reach their destination they take shelter in an unlocked farmhouse and discover it may not be abandoned.

The Zero Boys is an oddity because it's fun without being truly successful. As a slasher, creative deaths are limited. As an action movie, its setpieces are small scale and conservative. Mastorakis knows how to build tension through the earlier moments, and once our characters begin falling prey to booby traps littering the campground, he tightens those screws for a few well-made sequences. The film mostly gets by on charm, however, with a breezy pace, effective atmosphere, and amiable performances (it's hard to dislike Kelli Maroney in anything).

I'm not sure Mastorakis is all that concerned with generating scares. He seems more concerned with keeping things moving at a good clip. In that sense, The Zero Boys is a lot of fun. If that's what you're after, it's a good time.

Which brings me to Hired to Kill. I can't remember where I read it, but some online commentator summarized this as a marriage between Andy Sidaris and Cannon Films. Hard to be any more accurate, although Mastorakis isn't as adept at exploiting the female form as Sidaris, and nobody has ever out-Cannoned the Cannon Group. Still, the point stands.

The story is amazing. Brian Thompson takes center stage as the musclebound mercenary tasked with overthrowing a South American dictator (Oliver Reed). The catch? He needs to pose as a homosexual fashion designer to do it. This requires him to travel with an entourage of badass female mercenaries disguised as models. In a wonderful reversal of the "prepare for your mission montage", these tough ladies are required to undergo runway training in order to sell the charade.

If this sounds like a parody of the 1980s "one man army" action pictures, you're be half right. If Mastorakis is sending up the genre, you wouldn't necessarily know it, as Hired to Kill plays out with a straight face. Regardless of intent, the tone winds up being perfect. Any goofier and this would've been irritating. Any more serious and it would've fallen completely flat. In the end, none of this matters because it's got a scene where Oliver Reed kisses Brian Thompson in an effort to test the legitimacy of his cover. Bliss.

Like many of Mastorakis' productions, this offers surprisingly decent production value. It feels less like a one man army action movie and more like the middle of almost any James Bond movie, where 007 infiltrates the enemy stronghold to gather intel, only it's sustained for the better part of 90 minutes. A few veteran actors are on hand to add marquee value–the aforementioned Reed, along with George Kennedy as the shadowy operative who orchestrates the mission, and Mel Ferrer as the captured rebellion leader. Thompson and his supermodels shine the brightest, however, as they're in on the joke without being obnoxious about it. Most of the action is held back until the climax, but it's appropriately loud and fiery.

2016 gave us two Nico Mastorakis movies on Blu-ray, and Arrow knocked them both out of the park. Hired to Kill's supplements are almost worth the price of the disc itself (Mastorakis has plenty to say about Oliver Reed, none of it good, but all of it amazing). It's also got a highly entertaining interview with Brian Thompson, who gets choked up when asked about the film's on set fatality. The Zero Boys offers a strange feature where Mastorakis interviews himself, along with commentary by and an interview with Kelli Maroney. Both movies look great on Blu-ray. Do you take requests, Arrow? If so, I'm asking for more Mastorakis in 2017, specifically Blind Date and The Wind.

Last month, a restored trailer for his first feature Death Has Blue Eyes (1976) was uploaded to youtube. The description says: The film, also beautifully restored by Stef Films, will be available for worldwide sales soon.



June 23, 2020

Harry Cokeliss' Dream Demon (1988) on blu-ray from Arrow, from a new 2K restoration of the original camera negative, supervised and approved by director Harley Cokeliss

A young bride-to-be s anxieties over her upcoming wedding take on a horrifying, demonic form in this underseen 1988 rubber reality shocker from director/co-writer Harley Cokeliss (Black Moon Rising), starring Timothy Spall and Jemma Redgrave.

As her marriage to decorated war hero Oliver draws near, well-heeled Diana moves into her sprawling new London home where she starts to experience strange and terrifying nightmares. But are these blood-curdling night terrors merely the symptom of an unsettled mind, or the sign of something far sinister at work? Hounded by a pair of sleazy journalists (Timothy Spall and Jimmy Nail), Diana soon crosses paths with American tourist Jenny, who appears to have a strange connection to the foreboding house and its sinister past.

Long dormant on home media since its original VHS release, Dream Demon - a terrific blend of psychological horror and late 80s practical gore effects - has at long-last been stirred from its analogue slumber and arrives on Blu-ray, newly-restored from the original camera negative and in a brand new Director s Cut!

Quote from: wilder on April 15, 2020, 04:49:04 PMMay 26, 2020

Solid Metal Nightmares: The Films of Shinya Tsukamoto (1987-2018) on limited edition blu-ray from Arrow

One of the most distinctive and celebrated names in modern Japanese cinema, there's no other filmmaker quite like Shinya Tsukamoto. Since his early days as a teenager making Super 8 shorts, he has remained steadfastly independent, garnering widespread acclaim while honing his own unique and instantly recognizable aesthetic on the margins of the industry. Frequently exploring themes of urban alienation, physical transformation and psychosexual obsession, his films cross genre boundaries, defying straightforward classification. This exclusive collection gathers together eight feature-length films and two shorts from Tsukamoto's diverse filmography, including his most recent offering – his samurai drama Killing, making its home video premiere.

And I don't keep up with French and German labels as much as others because they're typically not as English-friendly, but this French label LE CHAT QUI FUME is worth pointing out.

I've bought a couple of their releases in the past, La Rose Écorchée and L'Aguille, which have subtitles, although I don't know if that's true for them across the board. They have a 4K UHD disc of Zulawski''s Possession (1981) coming later this year.

If nothing else they're a good curatorial reference, and take the cake in terms of packaging artwork.

They have a youtube channel with trailers for most of the films they've released.


August 25, 2020

Richard Driscoll's The Comic (1985) on blu-ray from Arrow US & Arrow UK, from a 2K restoration of the original camera negative

Stand-up comedy can be a cut-throat business, but in Sam Coex's world, it's downright murder... From the annals of bizarre cinema comes perhaps the most bizarre one of them all – 1985's The Comic! In a dystopian police state reality of indeterminate time and place, orange bouffant-haired comedian Sam Coex is eager for his big break. Realizing that desperate times call for even more desperate measures, he slits the throat of his rival Joey Myers, leaving the way clear for him to carve his own niche on the comedy circuit. But success can be a fickle and fleeting mistress, and Sam soon finds his career on a downward turn when he falls foul of the powers that be.

Filled with more dry ice and lighting gels than an '80s stadium rock concert, The Comic is a barmy, baffling and beguiling cinematic oddity shot on 35mm film in an alternate dimension. If you ever wanted to know the answer to the eternal conundrum "How does Pinocchio make love?" then this is the one for you

August 18, 2020

Mike Hodges' Flash Gordon on 4K UHD blu-ray and standard blu-ray from Arrow, from a 4K restoration of the original camera negative

Super producer Dino De Laurentiis (Dune, Barbarella) brought Alex Raymond's beloved cartoon strip and the long running movie serial to the big screen with celebrated director Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Black Rainbow) at the helm, in a delirious space opera, where Flash is King of the Impossible!

Merciless Emperor Ming (Max von Sydow) decides to wreak havoc on Earth in a moment of cruel boredom. Boarding a rocket as a means of escape, star quarterback Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones), Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) and Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) find themselves on Mongo. Taken prisoner Flash must save Dale from becoming Ming's concubine, avoid the amorous intentions of Ming's wicked daughter Aura (Ornella Muti) and unite the warring Kingdoms of Mongo.

August 24/25, 2020

Yasuzo Masumura's Black Test Car (1962) & The Black Report (1963) on blu-ray from Arrow US & Arrow UK

Japanese maverick director Yasuzo Masumura (Blind Beast) helms a bitingly satirical espionage thriller set in the heart of the Japanese auto industry in his 1962 landmark Black Test Car, which launched a series of similarly themed "Black" films.

In a bitter, take-no-prisoners corporate war between the Tiger Motorcar Company and their competitors, the Yamato Company, undercover spies have infiltrated both sides. As Tiger prepares to launch its newest "Pioneer" car and a prototype bursts into flames, Toru (Hideo Takamatsu, The Last Emperor) heads a secretive task force to root out Yamato's spy, and find out what they can about the competitor's familiar-looking new model. Making its worldwide Blu-ray debut, Black Test Car is paired here with the English-language video premiere of its follow-up The Black Report, also directed by Masumura.

October 26, 2020

George Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) on 4K UHD blu-ray from Second Sight (UK), from a 4K restoration of the original camera negative supervised and approved by DP Michael Gornick. Includes the theatrical, extended, and Argento cuts.

In 1968, director George A. Romero brought us Night of the Living Dead. It became the definitive horror film of its time. Eleven years later, he would unleash the most shocking motion picture experience for all times. As modern society is consumed by zombie carnage, four desperate survivors barricade themselves inside a shopping mall to battle the flesh-eating hordes of the undead. This is the ferocious horror classic, featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini, that remains one of the most important - and most controversial - horror films in history. When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth: The original Dawn of the Dead is back!

More details here

June 2020 TBD

Michel Lemoine's Seven Women for Satan (1973) on blu-ray from Mondo Macabro

This rarely seen Euro shocker is a sexy version of the story of Count Zaroff, the man whose favorite past time was hunting humans on his private island. By day a mild mannered businessman, in his dreams, Boris Karloff chases naked females on his country estate; just like his notorious father. One weekend, two visitors arrive at Boris's castle. the young girl is fascinated byt the tales of the wicked Zaroffs and asks if she can see their famous torture chamber. Maybe now the Zaroff dreams can becomne reality once more? A stylish and erotic horror film that was actually banned in France in the 1970's. A stylish and erotic horror film that was banned in France in the 1970s.

Mondo Macabro was the first company to resurrect this film in 2003 with their DVD release of the theatrical version. Now finally on Blu-ray, and in collaboration with France's Le Chat qui fume video label, it's possible finally to see this rare Gallic horror film in something like its intended form. Alongside the theatrical release the disc includes over 30 minutes of trailers and alternate and deleted scenes, including the mythical "seventh victim" sequence. Most of this footage has not been seen for 45 years and is quite a revelation.



i still own my Black Test Car, which was last seen this way (the one i own)

i used to think Coppola operated Fantoma but thankfully i checked the wiki page to find out he didn't. it was based out of San Fran is the only immediately noticeable connection. anyway Fantoma was dope and they got really into Masumura, so i got really into Masumura too

that's mother fucking Yukio Mishima in a yakuza movie right there

there was a story about Michelangelo Antonioni being old and not wanting to do anything except when he heard about Masumura movies playing


Quote from: jenkins on June 03, 2020, 10:09:31 PMthere was a story about Michelangelo Antonioni being old and not wanting to do anything except when he heard about Masumura movies playing


This is the complete listing for Fantoma's DVD catalog. Looks like most of it has been migrated to blu-ray by other companies at this point. Pretty sure Criterion has the rights to the Fassbinders.

On the Masumura front I've only seen the exceptionally gorgeous Blue Sky Maiden (1957), and bits and pieces of Giants and Toys (1958) and The Hot Little Girl (1970). Would love to see more of his work recognized and restored.


I hope you are all keeping safe friends <3


Arrow Video has a streaming service, which for now is only available through Apple TV in the US, and Amazon in the UK


These channel preview supercuts are so fun